It seems that the world and his dog is jumping into animation right now and while some are floundering, others are making a decent go of it. One of those with a surprise hit on their hands is the group behind The Nut Job. Despite mostly negative reviews, audiences seemed to like it and a sequel has already been announced. Whether the feature animation bubble will survive until its release is unknown right now, but that’s a discussion for another day.
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What is interesting is that the partners (Gulfstream Pictures, Redrover Co., Ltd. and ToonBox Entertainment Ltd.) have announced that they’ve created an incubator for new ideas. The imaginatively titled ‘Gulfstream ToonBox Animation Lab’ will:
cost-effectively cultivate talent from idea to production, accepting promising projects, assisting in the development of treatments, and designing and creating the respective animated worlds.
In other words, suss out potential ideas for feature films and provide a route for them to production.
It seems strange that they’ve gone this route with only one hit on their hands, and indeed, why they waited so long to do so. Yet I’m curious as to how it will work and how ideas will be created and permitted to flourish.
Incubators have, in a way, become all the rage as studios look to eek the best (and most profitable) original ideas into hits. My problem is that they remain a murky operation. Once an idea is accepted, there isn’t a lot of solid information about how they are developed.
In an ideal world, a studio would use what they already know to create a process whereby ideas must pass certain tests in order to proceed along the path to production. Such a process should, ideally, be published and available for all to read. The aim being, that once the process is known, you receive better quality ideas to begin with and improve the efficiency of the system as a whole.